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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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In a thread on abortion, I jokingly said that perhaps we should ask ourselves about whether our nation was founded on Christian principles. I really had not intention of starting such a discussion, but then in response to my jest, I received the following posting from Ray Kaye, who prior to this posting had not had the pleasure of meeting. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not a Christian. I am Agnostic. I have no dog in this fight; except a love of history.



Also, I believe we should beware of that which we find on the Internet. If a source is not provided, it might be best to not use that quote. For example, I used to quote what I had thought James Madison had said on another topic. He reportedly said: "Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government." --- James Madison.



If you go google and search this quote, you will not find the source of it. You will find the quote used often, but no source.




So, let's see what Ray offers:




A Nation Founded on Christian Principles?




I constantly hear Religious-Right types reminding us that this nation must return to the Christian principles of our founding fathers.

People like
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • John Adams
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • James Madison (considered the author of the U.S. Constitution)
Want to hear what these people really said?



George Washington - "The father of our country"

The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.



I have seen this one before, but often it is attributed to John Adams and not Washington. Actually, the quote was not made by either President. It comes from a treaty wiith Tripoli and the Barbarian Pirates and was written by Joel Barlow. The treaty was drafted during Washington's presidency, but his 2nd term ended before the treaty was signed. It was signed by Adams. Also, Congress unanimously approved this treaty. Since Adams was a Christian, the possible obvious answer as to why he signed the treaty was to attempt to bring peace with Tripoli who were not Christians and they offered that phrase as an olive branch. I cannot prove that, but it makes logical sense to me.



Thomas Jefferson* -

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.



This one is from a letter from Jefferson to Adams. I think it is taken slightly out of context. Here is the link to the full letter: http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib...n_Adams_1.html



In this letter, he stated the following: "He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be..." Not being an atheist does not make him a Christian. I have taken the liberty to quote the entire paragraph that contains the quote you have used:



The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.



After reading the full letter and using the full context of the letter, to whom do you think Jefferson was referring to in the underlined portion.



Abraham Lincoln -

The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.



I have been searching the Internet for the a bit of time now and cannot find a source for this quote.



John Adams -

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and... foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.



I have been searching the Internet for the a bit of time now and cannot find a source for this quote.



James Madison (considered the author of the U.S. Constitution)-

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and severity in the laity; in both superstition, bigotry, and persecution.



Finally, we have a quote that has a verifiable source. This quote comes from Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments. This document was written to argue against an establishment of a religion in Virginia. When you read the full article in the document, you can see that he is against forced financial support of any denomination or even for the Christian churches. I believe the quote says that Christianity was a religion of "purity and efficacy," I further believe that he is not talking about the Christian religion itself, but rather about the people who call themselves Christians. That is why he mentions Clergy and laity. In the last two sentences, he invites us to look back at Christianity prior to establishments. The terms of bigotry and persecution and not speaking against the religion, but could be speaking against some who practice the Christian religion. One could attempt to only use the word of superstition, but I cannot tell whether he is talking about the religion or the people within the religion. Here is the full article from which your quote resides:

7. Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?



And it goes on, but you get the idea.



Yes, I get an idea, but I'm not sure it was the one you wanted to give me.



It would be a bit hard to assume that all this was taken out of context.



It is not difficult in the least. Much of it is highly dubious as to whether they are actual quotes.



And, in case you are wondering, these people were not atheists. Generally speaking, they were people who believed in God and espoused solid ethical principles.



Which people? The people who posted the quotes or the people suggested as being the quoter?



You might wonder why you haven't heard about these views before.

The answer is simple.

In accordance with our predominant Judeo-Christian biases they have simply been — how shall we say this — "overlooked."

Could the Religious Right be equating a belief in God with Christianity?

It would seem that most people in the world believe in God...

...but most people in the world aren't Christians.

One thing sure, when it comes to our founding fathers it would seem that the rhetoric of the Religious Right is based more on wishful thinking than on truth.



I agree that most people are not Christian. Even I am not a Christian nor am I a member of the Religious Right. I just study the history of America and while I do not necessarily believe that we are a Christian nation, much would depend on what we mean by Christian nation. With this, I end this posting. I will follow this with some quotes of my own, but not of the type you have posted. I have sources for each one of mine and in most cases, I can provide the entire document.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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To kick off this discussion, let's go back in time to the 1500s. Let's look at a Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, In the document, it states the following:



Knowe yee that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors, we giue and graunt to our trustie and welbeloued seruant Walter Ralegh, Esquire, and to his heires assignee for euer, free libertie and licence from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People, as to him, his heires and assignee,...



And for asmuch as upon the finding out, discovering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countreis, and territories as aforesaid, it shal be necessary for the safetie of al men, that shal aduenture them selues in those murnies or voyages, to determine to line together in Christian peace, and ciuil quietnes ech with other, whereby euery one may with snore pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attaine with great Paine and perill, we for vs. our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents do giue and graunt to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignee for ever, that tree and they, and euery or any of them,...



So always as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be as neere as conveniently may be, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, governement, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdraws any of the subjects or people of those lances or places from the allegiance of vs. our heires and successours, as their immediate Soueraigne vnder God.



Source: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/16th_century/raleigh.asp



Is religion being promoted here? What religion is being promoted? Can laws be against the Christian faith? This is the first that I have found for the colony of Virginia. More to come later.



Now, I must leave until late this evening. I have to get ready to leave with my wife to go shopping and see the movie, "Atlas Shrugged."




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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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To kick off this discussion, let's go back in time to the 1500s. Let's look at a Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, In the document, it states the following:



Knowe yee that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors, we giue and graunt to our trustie and welbeloued seruant Walter Ralegh, Esquire, and to his heires assignee for euer, free libertie and licence from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People, as to him, his heires and assignee,...



And for asmuch as upon the finding out, discovering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countreis, and territories as aforesaid, it shal be necessary for the safetie of al men, that shal aduenture them selues in those murnies or voyages, to determine to line together in Christian peace, and ciuil quietnes ech with other, whereby euery one may with snore pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attaine with great Paine and perill, we for vs. our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents do giue and graunt to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignee for ever, that tree and they, and euery or any of them,...



So always as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be as neere as conveniently may be, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, governement, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdraws any of the subjects or people of those lances or places from the allegiance of vs. our heires and successours, as their immediate Soueraigne vnder God.



Source: http://avalon.law.ya...ury/raleigh.asp



Is religion being promoted here? What religion is being promoted? Can laws be against the Christian faith? This is the first that I have found for the colony of Virginia. More to come later.



Now, I must leave until late this evening. I have to get ready to leave with my wife to go shopping and see the movie, "Atlas Shrugged."


The highlighted phrases do establish an intimate connection between state and church, and do provide a rationale for dealing with heathens, namely: conquer them, lie to them regarding treaties, steal their lands, kill them when necessary ... to establish a "christian peace."



Yes, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do: Lie, steal, and kill......



Are you sure you want to continue making your point?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not a Christian. I am Agnostic.
Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."
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Old April 16th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #5
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Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."


I am truly pleased that you find that strange. I have not posted one quote from the Bible in this thread. I believe I have only posted quotes in two or three postings out of 275 plus postings. Is that what you consider as often? Also, I believe that the discussion was with a self-proclaimed Christian, so I tried to speak using her framework for understanding. I am not sure why that is considered strange, but we all view things differently. As for the "Lemon Test," that was not around in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, or even 1800s. And, I don't believe the founding took place in the 1970s. I'm sorry, but that is a bit off topic.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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The highlighted phrases do establish an intimate connection between state and church, and do provide a rationale for dealing with heathens, namely: conquer them, lie to them regarding treaties, steal their lands, kill them when necessary ... to establish a "christian peace."

Yes, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do: Lie, steal, and kill......



Are you sure you want to continue making your point?


Sure, I wish to continue this thread. The fact is that the Charter for Sir Walter Raleigh was founded upon Christian Principles. They wanted to bring Christianity to the new world. You may find this wrong, but it was of an age when exploration and discovery took place. I am not making an argument for or against having white people come to America nor bringing the Christian religion with them. I am simply pointing out that which is historically factual. Sor far, it appears that you agree with my contention. Thanks.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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November 20, 1606



And wee doe especially ordaine, charge, and require, the said presidents and councells, and the ministers of the said several colonies respectively, within their several limits and precincts, that they, with all diligence, care, and respect, doe provide, that the true word, and service of God and Christian faith be preached, planted, and used, not only within every of the said several colonies, and plantations, but alsoe as much as they may amongst the salvage people which doe or shall adjoine unto them, or border upon them, according to the doctrine, rights, and religion now professed and established within our realme of England…. Hening, I, 68-69.



This was from the Virginia Assembly. As they founded government, they still promoted Christian Principles.



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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Sure, I wish to continue this thread. The fact is that the Charter for Sir Walter Raleigh was founded upon Christian Principles. They wanted to bring Christianity to the new world. You may find this wrong, but it was of an age when exploration and discovery took place. I am not making an argument for or against having white people come to America nor bringing the Christian religion with them. I am simply pointing out that which is historically factual. Sor far, it appears that you agree with my contention. Thanks.


Well you're gravely mistaken. I agree, "it's history," but I deny the lying, stealing, and killing that was done "according to Christian principles."



You cannot, nor can anyone, point to any teaching of Christ which justifies what was done "in his name" on this continent., or hemisphere for that matter. The best you'll be able to establish is that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, and in complete antithesis to others.



Thus, our nation is not a Christian nation, none ever has existed except in name only, and the religion that Europeans brought with them, had they fully comprehended Christ's teaching, wouldn't have had them acting as Muslims, "spreading Christianity" at the end of a sword.



By the time the Europeans colonized the New World, the churches had thoroughly abandoned many of Christ's teachings through their alliance with corrupt political leaders dedicated to war and conquest. Your being the student of American history know that most of our Founders did not speak out against the teachings of Christ, but rather the practices of Christendom. And they condemned it vigorously.



Perhaps you can continue to demonstrate that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, but no more.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by skrekk' timestamp='1302981474' post='330793
Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."




I am truly pleased that you find that strange. I have not posted one quote from the Bible in this thread. I believe I have only posted quotes in two or three postings out of 275 plus postings. Is that what you consider as often? Also, I believe that the discussion was with a self-proclaimed Christian, so I tried to speak using her framework for understanding. I am not sure why that is considered strange, but we all view things differently. As for the "Lemon Test," that was not around in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, or even 1800s. And, I don't believe the founding took place in the 1970s. I'm sorry, but that is a bit off topic.


Dodge.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #10
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Dodge.
Yep, and a rather obvious one.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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Dodge.




What did I dodge?
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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Well you're gravely mistaken. I agree, "it's history," but I deny the lying, stealing, and killing that was done "according to Christian principles."



I deny that the people who came to Virginia lied or stole. They certainly killed, but can you tell me who fired the first shot?



You cannot, nor can anyone, point to any teaching of Christ which justifies what was done "in his name" on this continent., or hemisphere for that matter. The best you'll be able to establish is that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, and in complete antithesis to others.



Nor can you deny that the 1500s and 1600s were the age of exploration and discovery. According to your thoughts here, the first person who was born on earth should never have left his place of birth; otherwise, he or she did not practice Christian principles.



Thus, our nation is not a Christian nation, none ever has existed except in name only, and the religion that Europeans brought with them, had they fully comprehended Christ's teaching, wouldn't have had them acting as Muslims, "spreading Christianity" at the end of a sword.



Again, you need to provide evidence of which side fired the first shot. Second, I don't see anything in the documents that say that the founders of colonies in Virginia were to kill the people they were to convert. What would be the sense of that? I think you have misstated their goal. Third, when did the Indians come to America and should they have stayed where they were born?



By the time the Europeans colonized the New World, the churches had thoroughly abandoned many of Christ's teachings through their alliance with corrupt political leaders dedicated to war and conquest. Your being the student of American history know that most of our Founders did not speak out against the teachings of Christ, but rather the practices of Christendom. And they condemned it vigorously.



Most? I think you just use a bit of hyperbole that. I agree that some, perhaps, even a few, did. But that is not the time I have been discussing. You want to bypass the first 150 years of settlement in America. I'm starting there. I will develop the timeframe as we move forward.



Perhaps you can continue to demonstrate that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, but no more.



I think you will agree that the people who first founded Virginia wereself-professed Christians and were attempting to spread the word of Jesus. As of yet, I fail to see how you have proven anything otherwise. I will continue with the next posting from history.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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I think you will agree that the people who first founded Virginia wereself-professed Christians and were attempting to spread the word of Jesus.


Maybe some did want to do that. Others clearly did not. And while the very first settlers in Virginia did like to mix their Anglican religion with their government, it wasn't long before religious freedom once again became an issue - religious freedom and religious persecution being the very reason many people had left Europe.



It's quite clear that not all were Christians, and didn't believe in the fairytales of the bible. Ultimately the people who founded our republic crafted a set of principles which make no mention of Jesus, the bible, or your imaginary friend. None whatsoever. Maybe they were remembering the horrors of the 30 years war when they decided to prevent government entanglement with religion.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #14
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AND forasmuch as it shall be necessary for all such our loving Subject as shall inhabit within the said Precincts of Virginia aforesaid, to determine to live together in the Fear and true Worship of Almighty God, Christian Peace and Civil Quietness each with other, whereby every one may with more Safety, Pleasure and Profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attain with great Pain and Peril; WE for Us, our Heirs, and Successors are likewise pleased and contented, and by these Presents do GIVE and GRANT unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and to such Governors, Officers, and Ministers, as shall be by our said Council constituted and appointed according to the Natures and Limits of their Offices and Places respectively, that they shall and may from Time to Time, for ever hereafter, within the said Precincts of Virginia, or in the way by Seas thither and from thence, have full and absolute Power and Authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern, and rule all such the Subjects of Us, our Heires, and Successors as shall from Time to Time adventure themselves in any Voyage thither, or that shall at any Time hereafter, inhabit in the Precincts and Territories of the said Colony as aforesaid, according to such Orders, Ordinances, Constitutions, Directions, and Instructions, as by our said Council as aforesaid, shall be established; And in Defect thereof in case of Necessity, according to the good Discretions of the said Governor and Officers respectively, as well in Cases capital and criminal, as civil, both Marine and other; So always as the said Statutes, Ordinances and Proceedings as near as conveniently may be, be agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, Government, and Policy of this our Realm of England.



AND lastly, because the principal Effect which eve can desire or expect of this Action, is the Conversion and Reduction of the People in those Parts unto the true Worship of God and Christian Religion,...



The Second Charter seems to mirror the first charter. I wonder if Jesus was interested in converting anyone to his way of thinking.



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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #15
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[/b]

Maybe some did want to do that. Others clearly did not. It's quite clear that not all were Christians, and didn't believe in the fairytales of the bible.



Ultimately the people who founded our republic crafted a set of principles which make no mention of Jesus, the bible, or your imaginary friend. None whatsoever. Maybe they were remembering the horrors of the 30 years war when they decided to prevent government entanglement with religion.


Thanks for the agreement on some versus most. Some of those who did not believe in the miracles of the Bible agreed with the idea of religion and even the teachings of Jesus.

We'll get to the late 1700s eventually. It is best to have knowledge of the history that preceded the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and even the Bill of Rights. I'm not even close to those who authored any of those documents. They were not even born yet.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #16
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It's also clear that Virginia's early history of a state religion and persecution of minority religions has a lot to do with the backwards nature of some of its laws today - there's a reason Judge Bazile cited his imaginary friend when he ruled in Virginia v. Loving, a reason why the current AG is a religious nutcase adamantly opposed to marriage equality and gay rights, and a reason why Islamophobic religious extremists like Virgil Goode hail from Virginia. Apparently they haven't quite figured out that whole "separation of church and state" thing quite yet.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #17
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It's also clear that Virginia's early history of a state religion and persecution of minority religions has a lot to do with the backwards nature of some of its laws today - there's a reason Judge Bazile cited his imaginary friend when he ruled in Virginia v. Loving, a reason why the current AG is a religious nutcase adamantly opposed to marriage equality and gay rights, and a reason why Islamophobic religious extremists like Virgil Goode hail from Virginia. Apparently they haven't quite figured out that whole "separation of church and state" thing quite yet.


Are you conceding that Christians founded Virginia and set about to implant Christianity in Virginia?
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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:34 PM   #18
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AND forasmuch as it shall be necessary for all such our loving Subject as shall inhabit within the said Precincts of Virginia aforesaid, to determine to live together in the Fear and true Worship of Almighty God, Christian Peace and Civil Quietness each with other, whereby every one may with more Safety, Pleasure and Profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attain with great Pain and Peril; WE for Us, our Heirs, and Successors are likewise pleased and contented, and by these Presents do GIVE and GRANT unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and to such Governors, Officers, and Ministers, as shall be by our said Council constituted and appointed according to the Natures and Limits of their Offices and Places respectively, that they shall and may from Time to Time, for ever hereafter, within the said Precincts of Virginia, or in the way by Seas thither and from thence, have full and absolute Power and Authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern, and rule all such the Subjects of Us, our Heires, and Successors as shall from Time to Time adventure themselves in any Voyage thither, or that shall at any Time hereafter, inhabit in the Precincts and Territories of the said Colony as aforesaid, according to such Orders, Ordinances, Constitutions, Directions, and Instructions, as by our said Council as aforesaid, shall be established; And in Defect thereof in case of Necessity, according to the good Discretions of the said Governor and Officers respectively, as well in Cases capital and criminal, as civil, both Marine and other; So always as the said Statutes, Ordinances and Proceedings as near as conveniently may be, be agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, Government, and Policy of this our Realm of England.



AND lastly, because the principal Effect which eve can desire or expect of this Action, is the Conversion and Reduction of the People in those Parts unto the true Worship of God and Christian Religion,...



The Second Charter seems to mirror the first charter. I wonder if Jesus was interested in converting anyone to his way of thinking.


How can this discussion continue without noting exactly what "his way of thinking" is? Without an examination of Christ's teachings, without fleshing out what "the true Worship of God and Christian Religion" is, this discussion is a farce.



It matters not what the people involved said they intended to do without understanding what they actually did.



If your intent is to establish that the people involved said they were standing for the teachings of Christ, your objective can be accomplished. If your intent is to demonstrate that they actually stood for the teachings of Christ, you'd just as well abandon your quest right now.



I'm positive that Christ would have been pleased by "converting anyone to his way of thinking." Yet, I'm equally positive that what happened on this continent, in his name, is not what happened and thus would not have pleased him.



You are a self-described agnostic. I am a self-described Christian, and I stand on the principle that each and every American Christian at some point must come to a correct view of history. You are attempting to perpetuate a myth.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #19
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Are you conceding that Christians founded Virginia and set about to implant Christianity in Virginia?
I'll concede that Virginia had a state religion in common with the British empire - a religion which held the British monarch as a religious figure, and which many of the early settlers had fled in order to seek religious freedom. Ironic, eh? To flee theocracy and state religion, only to reestablish it here. Virginia also had a long history of persecuting non-Anglicans.



I wonder how many of those Church of England types in Virginia fought on the side of the Red Coats.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #20
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I'll concede that Virginia had a state religion in common with the British empire - a religion which held the British monarch as a religious figure, and which many of the early settlers had fled in order to seek religious freedom. Ironic, eh? To flee theocracy and state religion, only to reestablish it here. Virginia also had a long history of persecuting non-Anglicans.



I wonder how many of those Church of England types in Virginia fought on the side of the Red Coats.


Of all that I have talked about so far, none served on the side of the Red Coats, if you are referring to the Revolutionary War. They were all dead by then
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